New Oz Film Festival set to bring celebration of Down Under cinema back to London

New Oz Film Festival set to bring celebration of Down Under cinema back to London

Film festival organisers promise all the “energy, beauty, toughness, drama, eeriness, rebellion, humour and emotional honesty” that is Australia, on the big screen at Regent Street Cinema in London.

The fantastic new Oz Film Festival will bring a whole weekend of Australian films London’s Regent Street Cinema, Friday 30 June till Sunday 2 July.

The festival boasts the UK premieres of Jasper Jones (top image) and The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, London premieres of Hounds of Love and Red Dog: True Blue, plus screenings of Aussie cinema classics Strictly Ballroom and Dogs in Space as well as a few other celluloid surprises from Down Under.

For full programme details and to book tickets, go to OzFilmFest.com

With the resurgence of the Australian film industry over the last two years and box office hits such as Lion (2016 Garth Davis) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015 George Miller), the team behind the London Australian Film Society (LAFS) and the original London Film Festival believe the timing couldn’t be better to bring such an event back to the capital after several years hiatus.

'Red Dog: True Blue', the pooch prequel to 2011 family classic 'Red Dog' will be getting its London premiere.

‘Red Dog: True Blue’, the pooch prequel to 2011 family classic ‘Red Dog’, will be getting its London premiere.

An Australian expat, Festival Director Laila Dickson has lived in London for 12 years and has run LAFS with festival programmer Moira McVean for the past six years, screening films all around central London, rebuilding the loyal Aussie cinema audience.

“I’ve been wanting to bring back the festival for years but now feel the time is perfect – we have a great team, fabulous location and an incredibly loyal following,” Dickson said.

“We’re both so passionate about Australian film and absolutely thrilled to have some of the best quality new features to choose from. The selection process hasn’t been easy – the films that have come out in the last 18 months are of such a wonderfully high standard.”

Aussie favourite 'Strictly Ballroom' will be lighting up Regent Street Cinema.

Aussie favourite ‘Strictly Ballroom’ will be lighting up Regent Street Cinema.

Moira McVean has been involved in Australian film for over 10 years, programming the last two incarnations of the Australian Film Festival at The Barbican and Picturehouse Central. She currently works as the Head of Content Programming for Into Film.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with an actual Australian at last, who loves Australian cinema as much as I do, and I’m delighted to once again be raising the profile of Australian film in my home town of London,” she said.

“We are proud to draw together a programme with a distinctly Australian take on life,” she said.

“We want people to come along for an Australian weekend mini break in a gorgeous central London location and experience everything that Australia is – the energy, beauty, toughness, drama, eeriness, rebellion, humour and emotional honesty – it’s young and ancient at the same time – and our programme reflects that”.

The opening night will feature the already sold out UK premier of Jasper Jones staring Toni Collette and Hugo Weaving, directed by Rachel Perkins (Bran Nue Dae 2009, Radiance 1998) and based on the bestselling novel by the screenwriter, Craig Silvey.

1987's 'Dogs in Space', starring Michael Hutchence,  will get a rare screening at the Oz Film Festival in London.

1987’s ‘Dogs in Space’, starring Michael Hutchence, will get a rare screening at the Oz Film Festival in London.

Also confirmed for the festival is the rarely screened 30 year old cult classic, Dogs In Space (above – 1987 Richard Lowenstein), starring Michael Hutchence who passed away 20 years ago in November, and the profoundly moving LGBT documentary Remembering the Man, narrated by the author of the internationally acclaimed biography and stage show Holding the Man and which the film of the same name (2015 Neil Armfield) was based on.

The full festival programme includes an exciting mix of new and significant classic Australian feature films, documentaries, comedies and dramas, as well as films perfect for families, short films and, of course, an edge of your seat horror.

Oz Film Festival

Oz Film festival – London 2017 (programme)

 

FRIDAY 30th JUNE 

7:30pm JASPER JONES (15)

OPENING NIGHT GALA & DRINKS RECEPTION (SOLD OUT)

UK PREMIERE AUS 2017 dir Rachel Perkins 105 mins

Starring Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Levi Miller, Angourie Rice, Aaron L McGrath

  • Generously supported by the Australian High Commission

 

SATURDAY 1st JULY

3:00pm STRICTLY BALLROOM (15)

25th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING AUS 1992 dir Baz Luhrmann 94 mins

Starring Paul Mercuio, Tara Morice, Bill Hunter

  • Onsite photo booth with matador and flamenco costumes
 5:00pm DOGS IN SPACE (15)

30th ANNIVERSARY SCREENING AUS 1986 dir Richard Lowenstein 103 mins

Starring Michael Hutchence, Saskia Post

8:00pm HOUNDS OF LOVE (18) + introduction

LONDON PREMIERE AUS 2017 dir Ben Young 108 mins

Starring Emma Booth, Ashleigh Commings, Stephen Curry

 

SUNDAY 2nd JULY

2:00pm REMEMBERING THE MAN (15)

LONDON PREMIERE AUS 2015 dir Nickolas Bird, Eleanor Sharpe 83 mins

Starring George Banders, Reece Manning, Richard Bligh

5:00pm RED DOG: TRUE BLUE (15)

LONDON PREMIERE AUS 2016 dir Kriv Stenders 88 mins

Starring Bryan Brown, Jason Isaacs and Levi Miller

  • Introduction by Guide Dogs London + the opportunity to meet 2-3 dogs and their handlers before the screening
8:00pm DEATH AND LIFE OF OTTO BLOOM + Q&A with Director Cris Jones

CLOSING GALA & DRINKS RECEPTION

UK PREMIERE AUS 2016 dir Cris Jones 85 mins

Starring Xavier Samuel, Rachel Ward, Matilda Brown

  • Free wine and goodie bags for each ticket holder

 

For full programme details and to book tickets, go to OzFilmFest.com

Also visit the Oz Film Festival on Facebook

Australian Times

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For, by and about Aussies in the UK.


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